Sunday, January 03, 2021

Saigon Trail Hike on New Year's Day (Black's Beach)

On New Year’s Day, Tori and I walked down to Black's Beach from the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla. We came to hike up the Saigon Trail (or Ho Chi Minh Trail) that we had spotted the last time we were here in 2018.

Walking south along the beach, there is a wide gap in the towering bluffs with a patch of bamboo growing at the base. We had to wait awhile at the narrow entrance to the Saigon Trail as descending hikers used the dangling rope to climb down the slippery bank to the sand. When the path cleared, we scrambled up the steep trail and entered the high walled canyon with a trickling stream running down the center.

Since it was a beautiful New Year's Day, the route was quite crowded. At several spots in the sandstone canyon, we had to wait a long time for hikers going in the opposite direction to make it through the narrow choke points before we could advance.

With steep drop-offs to the side, our sandals were not the best footwear for the uneven and sloping trail. Halfway up, we had to scramble through a fun slot canyon. On the other side, we left the exposed sandstone behind as the trail ran alongside the streambed filled with tall rushes. The last obstacle was a balance beam walk across a 4" plank spanning the stream.

At the top, we had a beautiful view of the entire canyon with Point La Jolla visible across the bay. We thought about returning to the beach through the canyon, but hiking downhill is more treacherous in sandals. I want to come back wearing shoes. The entire Saigon Trail was only 0.6 miles but the rough terrain made it a great hike. My calves were extremely sore the next day.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

AcroYoga - Blooper Reel

Blooper Reel from our latest AcroYoga practice! Fun Times! Ha!

The last fall was right after we got through the hardest part of the long Amazon Washing Machine. We were one transition away from completing it for the first time. So Close!

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Beach AcroYoga (Propeller and Amazon)

During the King Tide, Tori and I went down to Beacons Beach for our weekend AcroYoga practice. We found a nice spot next to the reef exposed by the low tide and filmed our Propeller Washing Machine that we haven't performed in a long time.

While we have been practicing the Amazon Washing Machines every weekend, this was our first time making it through the first half of the machine without stopping. This long symmetrical flow created by Jacob and Debbie combines Big Lemoi, Nunchucks, Rotisserie, and High Barrel Roll. The second half repeats the four transitions going in the opposite direction.

After our practice, we walked down to Stonesteps Beach where we saw a Peregrine Falcon perched on the sandstone bluff.

The sunset was so beautiful that no filter was needed as it painted the sea and sand a purplish red glow. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Shelter Island (Mai Tai Cocktails at Bali Hai)

Today, we visited Shelter Island in San Diego Bay.  The 1.2 mile long island was originally a low sandbank that was built up into dry land starting in the 1930's and is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Parking near the Shelter Island Boat Ramp, we walked the length of Shoreline Park, stopping to admire the public art. The Tunaman's Memorial (1986) is a bronze sculpture by Franco Vianello of three fisherman hauling in a giant tunafish. In the center of the island's turnaround is the Yokohama Friendship Bell, a large bronze bell gifted from San Diego's sister city of Yokohama in Japan. At the tip of the island with a great view of Point Loma is the Pacific Spirit statue (2002) and the Pearl of the Pacific fountain (1998), both created by James Hubbell. On our walk back, we passed under the Pacific Portal, a flowing concrete gazebo that replaced the original Rotary Pavilion.

Our friend told us about the famous Mai Tai cocktails at the Bali Hai Restaurant on the other tip of Shelter Island. This Tiki Bar has been around since 1954 and follows the Polynesian theme that was required by the city when the island was first being developed. Sitting in the Lounge, we sipped the extremely strong Mai Tai's and shared the Ali'i Tasting Plate that came with Coconut Shrimp, Tuna Poke, Spinach Lumpia, Beef Skewers and BBQ Ribs. All five were delicious!

Our table in the lounge had a great view of the San Diego Bay as the sun set behind us and painted the sky pink. The restaurant has its own guest dock, for boats that want to stop for a meal. We watched the Full Moon slowly rise as the boats came into the America's Cup Harbor for the evening. The city lights of Downtown San Diego were fully lit by the time we finished our cocktails.

Because we had anticipated the strength of the Mai Tai's, we went for another nice walk along the Shelter Island causeway to the mainland, ending at H&M Landing on the far side of the harbor. After our two walks, we were still pretty hungry after our Bali Hai appetizer so we stopped at the nearby Miguel's Cocina to share some chicken nachos and a salad. It was a good day!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (Waterfall Hike)

On Saturday, Tori and I went for our first hike in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. (Peñasquitos means little cliffs in Spanish.) The 4,000 acre preserve stretches 7 miles between the Interstates 5 and 805 merge to just east of Interstate 15. The preserve also encompasses the smaller Lopez Canyon that runs parallel to the main canyon.

Starting at the Penasquitos Creek Park, we hiked along the flat canyon trail through the open chaparral before switching to the narrower trail that runs along the edge of the wooded creek filled with Sycamore trees and California Live Oaks. At the knocking sound of a woodpecker, we paused to watch the bird's rhythmic drumming against an old dead tree pierced with holes.

Our destination was the Penasquitos Creek Waterfall where the year-round stream cascades through a small volcanic rock defile.  It would be cool to return to see the falls after a long rainy season. The creek, originating in the city of Poway, is populated by Pacific tree frogs, crayfish and largemouth bass and drains into the Penasquitos Lagoon that connects to the Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines State Beach.

At the base of the falls we turned around and hiked back, keeping an eye out for the frequent mountain bikers racing along the main trail. We also spotted several horseback riders. Our entire hike was 4.6 miles and took a little over 2 hours.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween AcroYoga

With no Halloween Parties or Trick-or-Treating this year, Tori and I dressed up in our Onesies and had some AcroYoga fun in the park instead.

I wore a Giraffe Onesie while Tori had her Big Bird Costume.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Bahia Resort in Mission Bay (Kenny's 50th Birthday)

We just spent a four-day weekend at the Bahia Resort for Kenny’s Birthday. While we have visited the local resort that occupies a small peninsula jutting out into Mission Bay before, we have never stayed there. Since we arrived before any of our friends, Tori and I explored the grounds and their Harbor Seal Sanctuary. Both of the seals were abandoned as pups, probably due to their severe vision problems. Even though they can't be released into the wild with their medical condition, they are able to swim around their small lagoon with familiar ease.

Walking over to the Mission Beach Boardwalk, we enjoyed Sushi on the upper deck of the Cannonball ocean-front restaurant. For the rest of Friday, we hung out with Kenny and Kirstin at their bayfront room, watching the sunset over the resort's two sternwheelers that are currently closed due to the pandemic. On Saturday, Kenny's friends came to hang out on the resort's beach and celebrate his Quarantined Birthday. At sunset, we all went for a birthday cruise, biking and rollerskating down the boardwalk before coming back for birthday cake.

Even though it was overcast most of the day Saturday, we had fun kayaking and sailing in the classic 1970’s Hobie Cat that Kenny purchased last month. There was a decent wind as we crisscrossed Mission Bay with the other sail boats. Kenny didn't have his trapeze rig set up yet so I just hung out over the side while holding onto the cables. When he has the harness hooked up, I would love to film it with my GoPro while seated over the water.

On Sunday morning, Tori and I went for a walk on the boardwalk and checked out the Green Flash Sculpture by Malcom Jones (2002). Despite seeing countless sunsets, I have yet to see this actual phenomenon in real life. We walked all the way down to the South Mission Beach Jetty where there was a huge crane barge anchored in the channel. Sunday was much sunnier and we spent most of the day just hanging out at the resort, kayaking, sailing and practicing our AcroYoga on the grass. There was a bit of drama at the end of our last day as a man climbed atop the roller coaster at Belmont Park next door, threatening to jump.  He was finally talked down by the police.

Below is the video of Kenny's Birthday Cruise along the boardwalk on Saturday night.